U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Maricopa County, Arizona, is one of the nation's largest counties, covering over 9,200 square miles. The county is home to 2.3 million residents, more than half of the State's population. The Maricopa HOME Consortium covers the entire county, except for the city of Phoenix, and has a population of 1.3 million. The housing portion of the Consolidated Plan covers the cities of Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe, and the Maricopa Urban County. The nonhousing portion of the Consolidated Plan covers only the smaller communities participating in the Urban County and the unincorporated balance of the county.

Action Plan

In 1995 Maricopa County will receive $4 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, $142,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) funds, and as the lead agency for the Maricopa HOME consortium, $3.9 million in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds.

Citizen Participation

In order to develop input to the consortium-wide needs, housing and strategy portions of the Consolidated Plan, separate public hearings were held in each of the six entitlement cities, in addition to a countywide hearing. Each city provided input to and approval for the overall Consolidated Plan. The public hearings were also used by each community for submittal of their individual One Year Action Plans.


During the 3 years following the 1990 census, the consortium's population grew by almost 10 percent. Overall, the population is about 82 percent white and 13 percent Hispanic. Other ethnic or racial minorities comprise the remaining percentage of the population.

African Americans, Hispanics, and Native-Americans are disproportionately represented among the county's low-income people. Although only 17 percent of white households are very low-income (earning 0-50 percent of the median family income [MFI]), 30 percent of African-American households are very low-income. Furthermore, 35 percent of Hispanic households and 47 percent of Native-American households are very low-income.



The area's diverse economy is based on bioindustry, business services, high tech industry, tourism, transportation, and software. Maricopa County is unique among major U.S. urban areas because it has never experienced two consecutive years of job losses.

Housing Needs

Housing problems include cost burdens (paying more than 30 percent of gross income for housing expenses), overcrowding, and housing units with serious physical deficiencies. In 1990, 37,800 extremely low-income (0-30 percent of MFI) households, 36,000 very low-income (31-50 percent of MFI) households, 43,300 low-income (51-80 percent of MFI) households, and 16,700 moderate-income (81-95 percent MFI) households experienced housing problems. Overcrowding affected 21,200 households in the consortium area, and of that figure, nearly two-thirds were renters.

Housing Market Conditions

In 1990 there were 530,000 housing units in the county. Of these, 83 percent were occupied, and almost 10 percent were reserved for occasional or seasonal use. Furthermore, about two-thirds were owner-occupied units, and one-third were rental units. Since the 1990 census, 90 percent of all new units are single-family homes, and of the new multifamily units, most are being built in high-cost areas. The county's sustained growth has driven permit requests for single-family homes to an all-time high and has led to escalating rents.

In 1990 the estimated median home value was $90,455, while the median rent was $417 per month. Housing costs are expected to continue increasing faster than incomes. Since 1990 median rents have increased by 12 percent.

Although nearly 50 percent of the units in the area were built since 1979, a survey reported that 13 percent of households needed repairs. The 1990 census reported that 2,300 units had insufficient plumbing, and this problem was prevalent mostly in rural areas and on rental properties.

Affordable Housing Needs

Throughout the consortium area, an estimated 67,000 renter and 49,800 homeowner households earning less than 80 percent of MFI need housing assistance. Furthermore, approximately 85,000 rental units are needed for households earning less than 50 percent of MFI.

Homeless Needs

At least 8,100 homeless people live in Maricopa County. A 1995 survey indicates that 5,029 beds are available for homeless persons in the county. Of these, about 28 percent are shelter beds; 40 percent are in transitional housing; and the remainder are permanent housing. About 60 percent of the beds are in family units. Homeless people camp in various sections of the county, mostly in rural areas.

The Community Action Programs, which served 17,227 families and individuals throughout the county in 1993, coordinates services for the homeless. These services include weatherization of homes of low-income households, Head Start, and the Job Training Partnership Act programs.

The Homeless Task Force of the Maricopa Association of Governments has proposed a three-tiered approach to meeting homeless needs. The first level consists of meeting emergency needs with short-term aid; the second level involves providing intermediate transitional shelter; and the third level strives to achieve long-term self sufficiency or long-term shelter.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Maricopa County operates 902 public housing units, and other jurisdictions in the consortium area operate 630 units. Maricopa County's public housing has been neglected in recent years and needs substantial improvements. The cities with public housing programs are encouraging resident initiatives. Currently, 1,522 households appear on waiting lists for public housing, with the waiting time ranging from 6 to 18 months.

The seven agencies that provide assisted housing in the consortium area report that 5,350 persons have been served through the tenant-based Section 8 community, with another 4,293 persons appearing on the waiting list. Under this program, tenants seek their own housing but are assisted with rent payments. About 600 persons receive some other type of rental assistance. The programs provide 6,332 elderly households with rental assistance. Most assisted housing waiting lists are not accepting new applicants.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The Consolidated Plan identifies the following Federal, State, and local government barriers to affordable housing:

Lead-Based Paint

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 57 cases of lead poisoning were documented in 1994. All reported cases involved children, with two-thirds of them being Hispanic. Nearly 89,000 low-income homes may contain lead-based paint hazards.

Other Issues

Frail elderly persons in the area need assisted supportive housing and home-based services. The State and county are under court order to provide services for seriously mentally ill persons. There are 3,187 supervisory care units for severely mentally ill persons in the county. A survey of developmentally disabled persons in Arizona noted that housing is a major issue for this population and that currently available housing is a significant concern. The main care provider for persons infected with HIV annually receives 130-170 requests for emergency housing. In June the population of migratory farmworkers peaks at 1,800, and the housing supply cannot meet this need.

Community Development Needs

Community development needs were identified using local and county capital improvement plans, economic development and land-use plans, and a survey of the relevant jurisdictions. The Consolidated Plan lists over $179 million in community development needs. Although infrastructure needs represented nearly 66 percent of the estimated total, public facilities and public services represented another 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively.


Vision for Change

The county seeks to improve housing conditions for low- and moderate-income residents and to strengthen public resources serving those residents.

Housing Priorities

The consortium has identified the following housing objectives and implementation targets:

The consortium has identified the following homeless objectives and implementation targets:

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

Nonhousing community development needs include:

Antipoverty Strategy

The county seeks to encourage economic development and opportunities for low-income people, using its Office of Economic Development. The county will develop an economic development plan, assist the proposed Enterprise Zone for western Maricopa County, and support self-sufficiency efforts in public housing.

Housing and Community Development Resources

In addition to Federal entitlement grants, the consortium can access various State and local resources. State resources include: loans from the Arizona Commerce and Economic Development Commission, loans for water and wastewater projects from the Department of Environmental Quality, funds for job training and business assistance from the Department of Commerce, and proposed Enterprise Zone Assistance. Enabling statutes allow local governments to create special districts to issue tax-exempt debt, to exercise tax abatement options, and to use the power of eminent domain for redevelopment projects.

Also, consortium localities will use: mortgage revenue bonds and mortgage credit certificates, Section 8 assistance, the State Housing Trust Fund, the Federal Low-income Housing Tax Credit, and public housing funds and other programs. They will also collaborate with their housing agencies and with nonprofit groups and local lenders.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Through the consortium, the relevant jurisdictions will address their affordable housing needs based on a regional approach. To improve homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons, First InterState Bank will facilitate an effort between lenders, the State, the county, Phoenix, and nonprofits. Coordination of social services throughout Maricopa County must be improved.


Description of Key Projects

Maricopa County will implement numerous projects in 1995, including:


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Maricopa County's Consolidated Plan, please contact: Ms. Isabel Mc Dougall
County of Maricopa
3003 North Central Avenue, Suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85012

You may also contact:
Mr. Paul Ludwick
Neighborhood Resources Director
City of Glendale
5850 West Glendale Avenue
Glendale, Arizona 85311

Return to Arizona's Consolidated Plans.